This rumor is upgraded to ‘fact’ with today’s announcement of the new deal that will see 13 of approx. 18 races broadcast on network NBC each year.
July 20, 2021
NBC and the NTT IndyCar Series is set to continue their broadcasting relationship in an extension of their current exclusive rights deal.
According to Racer, not only is an announcement “imminent” on a multi-year deal, there will be an increase of races broadcast on NBC now that NBCSN is shutting down. With nine races set to air on NBC under the original 17-race schedule, it’s revealed that “12 or more races” could be on NBC next season. The rest of the races would reportedly move from NBCSN to USA while other sessions would stream on Peacock.
AR1.com maintains that all IndyCar races should be on NBC, not just 12 or so, the series to really take off.
June 14, 2021
According to Sports Business Journal, IndyCar is close to announcing a new deal with NBC as its USA TV broadcast partner, in large part because there just isn’t another suitor.
SBJ wrote, “IndyCar’s current deal with NBC, which is worth a little less than $20 million per year, ends after this season. A new deal is not imminent, sources said, but NBC and IndyCar executives have held enough productive meetings in recent weeks that sources are optimistic the series will remain on NBC.
“One reason for the newfound momentum is a lack of interest from other networks. Neither CBS nor ESPN have had serious discussions with IndyCar, according to multiple sources. Fox executives have had conversations with IndyCar, but sources described those talks as preliminary and not serious.”
According to AutoRacing1.com sources, the new deal will have most, if not all, races broadcast on network NBC.
With NBCSN disappearing, look for all practice and qualifying sessions, except perhaps Indy 500 qualifying, to be streamed on Peacock.
No word on the duration of the deal, but expect it to be at least 3 years.
CBS seems focused on the Superstar Racing Experience series, while ESPN holds the American rights to Formula 1, which is currently seeing a massive ratings uptick.
Obviously, there is no bidding war for IndyCar, and that is their fault. Being on NBCSN for so many years, with its minuscule TV ratings, made the series look like a loser and, hence, nobody else wants to touch it.
Mark C. reporting for AutoRacing1.com